FARMER FOCUS: Industry must retain young people

You will be pleased to know that I have finally been relieved of my reporting duties. Nobody will be as happy as Sam, who has had the unenviable task of editing my Cornish waffle into something legible, writes Julian Ellis.

During the years that I have been writing we have steadily increased cow numbers and reduced the amount of spring barley, while maintaining the contracting and the spring cabbage.

I hope that we can continue to remain a mixed farm, as it is what we feel suits us, and our land best. We have experimented with various crops and techniques to try and reduce our inputs and reliance on fertilisers and chemicals, sharing with you some of our successes and disasters along the way, with red clover the only one that has endured.

We have been lucky to have been in a position to take on some more staff, which are proving worthwhile and allowing Dad and I the opportunity to have an hour off with family at times. I hope our industry can continue to attract young people and, more importantly, retain them.

Olivia is looking forward to having more time showing Daddy how she rides her rockinghorse, which he foolishly bought her for Christmas. In hindsight, I think a doll or even a calf would have been cheaper in the long run.

I would like to wish you all well and share with you a thought that helps me along: farm for tomorrow and live for today.

Julian Ellis milks 150 Guernsey cows on 158ha at Land’s End, Cornwall, in partnership with his father and two part-time staff. The farm rears followers and store cattle, with 36ha used for growing spring barley, 12ha (30 acres) for spring cabbage and several acres for fodder beat and kale.

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